Waiter! There's dioxins in my soup.

Doctors in the Ukraine have just confirmed that dioxins are the cause of the poisoning that has ravaged the skin and health of the presidential canidate, Viktor Yushchenko. They are not speculating on how he received such poisons into his body but did note that because dioxins are soluble they could be administered via "something like a cream soup." Now, what does a possible political plot have to do with Treehugger? Well, the left photo is what Viktor looked like, before the poisoning, just a few months earlier. Greenpeace have been campaigning against dioxins for ages. As has MBDC's William McDonough and Dr. Michael Braungart, who propose new forms of design to avoid their creation. Why? Because these chemicals are predominately a byproduct of human industry. And high exposure to them can increase risk of ...... cancer by 40%. There is a litany of of other effects also. Like nervous system under-development, diabetes, liver and heart diseases, skin problems (like Viktor's chloracne), conjunctivitis, fatigue, etc. How do they get into us? Mostly through what we eat. They bio-accumulate in the food chain and we're at the top of that chain. A issue first brought to our consciousness, by the mother of the modern environment movement, Rachel Carson, through her seminal work, Silent Spring. What assaulted Viktor's health, almost overnight, is likely to be doing the same to most of us. Just over a longer period of time. (Rachel's book is now 35 years old. Quick on the uptake, aren't we!)

Greenfacts and The World Health Organisation have more info on the dioxins.

Via ::ABC News Online [by WM]

Photo from ::Wikipedia